Wednesday, October 31, 2012
"Politics at it's Worst" Guest Blog by Charlotte Rode State Fair Commissioner
Governor Martinez often uses the phrase “this is politics at its worst” when faced with opposition. As a conservative Republican, I happen to agree with her. Let me give you a few examples of how ‘politics’ is interfering with ‘good government’ in New Mexico.
During the 2010 election cycle most of us were ready for a new era in Santa Fe. Bill Richardson’s demeaning vocabulary and strong-arm tactics were wearing thin. Big campaign donors whose money bought them relevance, appointments and power were costing us millions. His appointees were forced to sign resignation letters in advance to ensure they performed as rubber stamps, advancing his agenda and rewarding friends. Despite campaigning on a promise of transparency and against corruption, the Martinez administration has us feeling like little changed in the two years since her election.
The vulgar, demeaning language used by Keith Gardner in a recording to describe his and the Governor’s feelings about Senator Jennings goes beyond any form of decency. The only reason I can imagine a close friend secretly recording your conversation would be a lack of trust. Keith is the Governor’s Chief of Staff. His job, and hers, is to hold the public trust. As quoted in an article, the Senator believes this attack was a result of his opposition to the Down’s Racino contract. In the same obscenity-laced conversation, Keith offers the Expo management position to his friend, even though hiring management at Expo is, by statute, the responsibility of the State Fair Commission. The Governor’s office has doled out all five senior management positions at Expo at an annual expense of nearly $400k and saw to it that Larry Kennedy became the Commission Chair. Mr. Kennedy is the only commissioner denied confirmation by the NM State Senate.
Martinez’s handler, Jay McCleskey stated in the Albuquerque Journal that “moving the governor’s agenda forward trumps everything” – the ends justifies the means. Does it trump ethics? In identical language, I was told the role of the State Fair Commission was to move the Governor’s agenda forward and if I disagree then I should do the right and respectable thing and resign. Where does that leave our State? If an appointed official witnesses corruption, they should resign instead of speaking out? Tom Tinnin, a well-respected Republican, served for 16 years on the State Board of Finance under four governors. He resigned over concerns with the Downs contract and said before Martinez, he “never had a governor ask him to compromise his integrity, on any level”.
They kept the RFP secret and now they’re doing the same with the enforcement of the new 25-year lease, shielding big money donors from public accountability. A year after the Downs won the award, they have yet to make significant progress towards completion. The new contract is not being upheld. They have not obtained a performance bond, shown evidence of financing or paid their utilities. The State Fair Commission is nowhere to be found. Chairman Kennedy is playing ‘hide the ball’ and hasn’t convened a meeting since June, unilaterally running the commission and completely disregarding state law. They are still operating in secret. In the past year I have been denied nearly every document I’ve requested, even after submitting a formal public records request.
Our state and our country are in desperate need of great leaders, not great politicians. Great leaders are not necessarily liked, they’re respected and effective. We have tremendous human resources in NM, let’s try engaging the talent and expertise of all who represent our diverse electorate, allowing each community to decide for themselves who best represents their needs. This all-or-nothing, seek-and-destroy mentality will not reform our state. Principled leaders will.
Charlotte Rode, State Fair Commissioner
Wednesday, October 24, 2012
House District 30 Race - The People of HD30 Deserve Better
Guest blog by Mary Ellen Broderick candidate for State House of Representatives District 30.
The race for State House District 30 made a huge leap into the nasty, negative campaign category on Tuesday, two weeks prior to election day.
Representative Nate Gentry has decided to go all out on attacking me personally. Now nearly every single day, Rep. Gentry is sending his constituents negative mailers against Broderick claiming everything from my supposed support for child killers to hypocrisy over something that never happened. Gentry even mailed out a link to a two year old spoof video.
Meanwhile the good people of House District 30 remain in difficult economic times, worried about education, their lives hanging in the balance as their Representative Nate Gentry pulls out every tired smear tactic in the GOP playbook.
What about the issues Representative Gentry? Do you really believe that negative, personal attacks will help local small business owners create jobs? The video made two years ago is a parody of Glenn Beck speaking at his huge rally in Washington DC on August 28, 2010. Rep. Gentry and his allies must have spent hours, if not days, digging thru 2000+ videos stored on this blog's youtube channel. Rep. Gentry and his allies then took the video and re-uploaded it on their own under a no-name account.
Below is a link to the Glenn Beck speech Broderick is parodying, go 44 seconds in.
Isn't it time to stop the politics of personal destruction? Don't our constituents deserve better?
This is exactly why I entered the race. Because too much is at stake in this election to gloss over the issues and focus only on personal smear campaigns.
Representative Gentry, I have never attacked you. Period. But I do think the voters deserve to know about your record – which has been damaging to middle-class families, small businesses, veterans and seniors. Those aren't attacks, they are the facts.
I love this state, and I know that Rep. Gentry does as well. However, we have very different ideas of how to embrace our future. Those are the differences we need to discuss.
I entered this challenging race for House District 30 proud and determined to speak up for people and give voice to the concerns and frustrations that everyday New Mexican families have with the direction of state. The politics of character assassination is a distraction from what really matters in this race.
Please also view this short clip of Representative Gentry, In the video below Mr. Gentry says he will not make personal attacks. This was one day before the “Hoodie” mailer dropped and just days before he circulated a link to the spoof video. You decide whether those are personal attacks – I'm out to knock on more doors, meet more people and bring my POSITIVE vision for the future of New Mexico to the people of District 30. Let's get to work!
Friday, October 19, 2012
Represenative Nate Gentry Tells Constituents "No Negative Attacks will come from him."
NM State Representative Nate Gentry told his constituents he would be doing no negative attacks, just the facts will be put out in his name. This Rep. Gentry said just hours before a negative flier from Rep Gentry attacking his opponent was received in his constituents mailboxes.
Below is a short video of Representative Nate Gentry stating he will not be doing any personal negative attacks, he will just be stating the facts. All candidates got a chance to speak at the Loma del Rey Neighborhood Association meeting on Wednesday evening at 7:00.
Rep. Gentry must have forgotten that he had put in the mail that same day a personal negative attack of his opponent, Mary Ellen Broderick. See below Hoodie front, and Hoodie back.
As Rep. Nate Gentry says in his statement at the neighborhood association, he is only sending out facts. The flier sent out to his constituents states that Mary Ellen Broderick sides with child killers! Facts, really Rep. Gentry, only facts you will send out?
It is a fact that Mary Ellen Broderick does support the current law of NM which does not allow the Death Penalty. The repeal of the NM Death Penalty law was fought for many years in the Roundhouse. The death penalty was repealed on March 18, 2009, no more eye for an eye as the way we govern, no more outrageous expenses born by the people of NM for this law.
Barbara Wold followed this topic and wrote about it on many occasions within this DFNM blog, her post regarding the signing of the new law abolishing the death penalty and instituting life without parole can be see here.
Other facts regarding the repeal of the death penalty and House District 30: both of the most recent Republican and Democratic representatives of District 30 voted in favor of replacing the death penalty with life without parole. Neither of them received negative comments from their constituents. 67% of New Mexicans supported the repeal. New Mexicans believe that the millions wasted on having the law on the books should be spent on preventing violence against children, promoting public safety and compensating victims, while keeping dangerous murderers locked up for life. Read the following link for other meaningful information regarding the Repeal of the Death Penalty.
Furthermore, it is telling Republican Representative Nate Gentry is using the Hoodie image on the front of this peice. What are the underlying fear tactics being messaged with that simple Hoodie image. Think about the Trayvon Martin killing this spring; a young black man was killed by someone protecting his neighborhood. The man saw someone who should not be in his neighborhood with a hoodie on and dark skinned and confronted him and killed him. Trayvon was carrying skittles and a soft drink.
None of these images go unseen and unrecognized for the fear mongering racist imaging they are meant to display.
Young americans are tired of the fear tactics and racists behavior of the fear mongers. A group called Hoodie Vote was started with a mission of getting young people fed up to vote.
Below is a great video of an activist at Netroots Nation 2012 explaining the Hoodie Vote project.
In summary let's use this fear-mongering message from NM Representative Nate Gentry to GOTV for New Mexico.
Go volunteer for a campaign, Rep. Nate Gentry's opponent Democrat Mary Ellen Broderick needs help on the ground, door to door, meeting the voters, tell them who Mary Ellen really is. Mary Ellen does not side with the child killers! Nothing could be further from the truth. Let's stand up together with volunteer action to say no to these divisive attacks.
We need jobs, we need excellent education, we do not need more fear-mongering
Please sign up to volunteer at Elect Mary Ellen HD30 website or call 417-9139.
10/20: Emily Kane with Special Guest Sonia Manzano at Early Vote OFA Rally
Thursday, October 18, 2012
Congress expands voter suppression investigation to New Mexico after ProgressNowNM exposes improper training
STATEMENT OF PROGRESSNOW NM ON NEWS THAT CONGRESS EXPANDS VOTER SUPPRESSION INVESTIGATION INTO NEW MEXICO
Albuquerque - ProgressNow New Mexico's Executive Director Pat Davis issues this statement on the news that a Congressional committee has expanded its investigation into voter suppression into New Mexico after ProgressNow NM exposed improper training of poll challengers by a GOP official and improper coordination between the party and non-profit True The Vote.
"We thank Congressman Cummings for recognizing the important challenge efforts like those we exposed, and others exposed across the country, are having on our elections. This is welcome news coming on the heels of Attorney General King's announcement of a similar investigation announced last week. Though Congressman Pearce has said he endorses these illegal tactics, we encourage the rest of our congressional delegation to stand up for fair elections and support this important inquiry. We also continue to implore Governor Martinez, as our state's highest ranking elected Republican, to repudiate these tactics and support these investigations, especially now that voters have already begun voting."
ProgressNow New Mexico made national news when it released secretly recorded video of a Republican party official training poll challengers in illegal voter challenge techniques. The video has been viewed more than 50,000 times. Just days later, we returned to another training session and were denied entry by True The Vote's state leader telling us, on tape, that the training was only open to Republicans. Non-profit organizations, like True The Vote, are not permitted to work on a partisan basis.
We contacted Cong. Cummings office and shared these videos after learning of his investigation. Cummings specifically cites ProgressNowNM's work as justification for expanding the investigation.
New Mexico Attorney General Gary King announced an investigation into voter suppression in New Mexico after we released these videos.
Despite these investigations, True The Vote released additional training videos this past weekend. They continue to teach improper poll challenger tactics to participants.
A copy of the Congressional letter is here.
Wednesday, October 17, 2012
We'll All Be Seniors One Day; Guest Blog by Marci Blaze Candidate for HD 23
In order to honor New Mexico’s senior citizens for their lifetime of contributions, I will work hard in the Legislature to ensure their safety, good health, financial security and self-determination.
According the New Mexico Department of Aging and Long Term Services, our state will rank fourth in the nation by 2030 in the percentage of the population over the age of 65. New Mexico currently ranks second in food insecurity and third in hunger, with 13.2% of the 60+ population living at or below poverty level. Of the adult abuse, neglect and exploitation cases in the state, 65% involve people over the age of 55. Of the thousands of New Mexican families composed of grandparents raising their grandchildren, 31% live in poverty.
Essential programs of the New Mexico Department of Aging and Long Term Services cannot not be subject to budget cuts and it may, in fact, become necessary to expand these programs given our growing population of seniors.
As your Representative, I will work tirelessly to ensure that senior citizens have access to adequate meals, recreation centers, public transportation options like Senior Ride, utility relief, legal advice and protection from neglect, abuse and exploitation. Age discrimination in employment must also be combatted by strengthening equal employment laws. We must continue to shore up Medicaid funds for seniors, make available respite care and home services when necessary, and ensure that communications with seniors can be arranged in non-English languages such as Spanish, Dine and Pueblo dialects. I want to see isolated seniors be able to keep their beloved pets by helping NMDALT partner with non-profit organizations that can assist seniors with pet food, exercise and veterinary care.
New Mexico’s senior citizens have worked hard, paid taxes, made innumerable sacrifices for their families and communities and are determined to maintain their independence, dignity and productivity. We owe them no less than to ensure their future is a bright one.
Tuesday, October 16, 2012
Three Two OneFriends,
The clock is running out on this election and it's GO TIME on keeping New Mexico BLUE!
We have 2583 doors to knock before Election Day and NEED YOUR HELP to make sure that voters all across District 30 know that I will always represent their interests, not the special interests.
The choice could not be more clear. In the Roundhouse, I will fight for local small businesses by ending the unfair tax breaks out of state corporations currently enjoy and stand up for New Mexican children by fully funding early childhood education.
But I cannot do these things without your help. Click to sign up and volunteer right now.
Thank you for your support and all you do to keep New Mexico BLUE,
P.S. With just 25 days left in this election I need your help more than ever to win this election. Join me by visiting www.electmaryellenbroderick.com/volunteer.
Thursday, October 11, 2012
Real ID is Dead. New Mexico IDs Will Continue to be Valid.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of New Mexico debunks Governor Martinez’s Real ID Scare Tactic
On Oct. 10th Governor Martinez released a statement informing the public that the state practice of issuing drivers’ licenses to undocumented residents could prevent New Mexico licenses from complying with REAL ID standards by the deadline of January, 2013. This statement is misleading at best.
REAL ID is dead. Americans have already rejected large parts of this ill-conceived attempt to unite state drivers’ licenses into a national ID card. Thirty-six states—including New Mexico—currently do not fully comply with this unpopular, unfunded mandate. In fact, twenty-five states have passed resolutions rejecting REAL ID, and in fifteen states (more than 20% of the U.S. population), it is illegal for state officials to comply with the law.
Just as we saw in 2008, 2009, and then 2011—all previous deadlines for compliance—the Department of Homeland Security will almost surely kick the can further down the road and extend the deadline again. The government cannot afford to ban 20 percent of the total population from entering a federal building or boarding a plane back home from winter holidays.
Today’s statement from the Governor is a scare tactic meant to advance her agenda of dismantling New Mexico’s drivers’ license law. The Governor should not use the practically defunct REAL ID law to make baseless accusations about a drivers’ license law our legislature passed to improve public safety.
This statement may be attributed to Peter Simonson, Executive Director of the ACLU of New Mexico.
Local Leaders Respond to Permanent Injunction Against Driver's License Residency Certification Program
On 10/4/12 the following was released from Somos Un Pueblo Unido.
Local Latino and religious leaders hailed the permanent injunction finalized yesterday against New Mexico's "Foreign National Residency Certification Program." The program, enacted in July 2011, was successfully challenged by four state legislators and Marisela Morales, a long-time New Mexico resident of Silver City and Legal Permanent Resident. Ms. Morales was summoned, based on her national origin, to a special Albuquerque office to resubmit papers proving her identity and residency in New Mexico or face cancellation of her driver's license. To see permanent injunction, click here.
"This discriminatory program was clearly intended to fuel an anti-immigrant political agenda in New Mexico, and we are relieved that it did not prevail." said María Cristina López, Founding Board Member of Somos Un Pueblo Unido, a statewide immigrants' rights organization. "We're all for fighting fraud and abuse, but the state should not be wasting tax payer money by targeting people solely based on their race and national origin. It's simply unacceptable in New Mexico."
The plaintiffs were represented by MALDEF, a national Latino rights organization, and Albuquerque-based law firm Freedman Boyd Hollander Goldbert Urias & Ward, PA (Freedman Boyd).
David Urias, lead attorney for the plaintiffs said on Thursday "No one, of course, supports fraud in the driver's license application process, but there are other legal ways to ensure that fraud is prevented - implementing unconstitutional programs which target people solely on the fact that they weren't born in the United States, isn't one of them. The demise of this unlawful program will hopefully open up a dialogue that will result in lawful policies and procedures that address real problems, not make scapegoats out of immigrants for political gain."
The driver's license re-verification program was created and funded by the Taxation and Revenue Department and MVD at the height of a contentious legislative debate regarding the current policy that requires immigrant drivers, regardless of immigration status, to be licensed, registered and insured. The Governor pushed unsuccessfully for a full repeal of the law, while the majority of legislators supported reforming the law to strengthen identity and residency requirements, including fingerprinting of foreign nationals, and toughen penalties for fraud.
"MVD already has many tools that it can legally employ to fight fraud without discriminating against immigrants or punishing honest people who have gone through the proper steps to apply for a license," said Allen Sanchez, Director of the New Mexico Catholic Conference of Bishops. "Still, we support driver's license reform that would create even more tools to fight fraud, but safeguard the families who live in New Mexico and who have complied with state law."
Somos Un Pueblo Unido spearheaded a campaign in 2003 with law enforcement officials, victims rights agencies, and faith and civil right group to enable qualified immigrant drivers to apply for licenses, obtain insurance, and register their vehicles.
Tuesday, October 09, 2012
First Day to VOTE in 2012 Election
Click on this link to find out all you need to know about Bernalillo County VOTE
Today, October 9, 2012 is the first day to VOTE in this very important 2012 election.
There are two very different directions being proposed to take the Country right now. From the Federal level to the State level of governing. People are angry, dissolutioned, not trusting of our government.
To find out more information regarding voting in your New Mexico County please follow this link to the Secretary of State website.
Conservation Voters New Mexico Endorses Slate of Pro-Conservation Candidates for General ElectionPress release from CVNM:
Photo above from CVNM website.
Conservation Voters New Mexico (CVNM) continues its efforts to build a political voice for conservation by endorsing pro-environment candidates who will work to protect the natural heritage and way of life that New Mexicans cherish. CVNM has endorsed a slate of 32 state legislative candidates for the November 6, 2012 general election.
CVNM endorses candidates based on their conservation records and responses to a questionnaire on topics including environmental health, quality of life, energy, water, land use, transportation, wildlife and wilderness.
“New Mexican voters have made it clear that they want to protect the air, water, land and way of life
that sustains us all,” said Sandy Buffett, Executive Director of CVNM. “We have an opportunity to elect state legislators who will work hard to represent the environmental values of their constituents.”
CVNM’s legislative endorsements* for New Mexico’s general election are as follows:
Senate District 10: Joseph Carraro
Senate District 14: Michael Padilla
Senate District 15: Daniel Ivey-Soto
Senate District 17: Sen. Timothy Keller
Senate District 18: Bill Tallman
Senate District 29: Sen. Michael Sanchez
Senate District 31: Joseph Cervantes
Senate District 36: Sen. Mary Jane Garcia
Senate District 37: William Soules
House District 8: Frank Otero
House District 13: Patricia Roybal Caballero
House District 14: Rep. Miguel Garcia
House District 15: Emily Kane
House District 18: Rep. Gail Chasey
House District 23: Marci Blaze
House District 24: Elizabeth Thomson
House District 25: Christine Trujillo
House District 26: Georgene Louis
House District 30: Maryellen Broderick
House District 33: Bill McCamley
House District 35: Jeff Steinborn
House District 36: Phillip Archuleta
House District 37: Joanne Ferrary
House District 38: Terry Fortenberry
House District 39: Rep. Rodolpho “Rudy” Martinez
House District 43: Stephanie Garcia Richard
House District 48: Rep. Luciano “Lucky” Varela
House District 50: Stephen Easley
House District 52: Doreen Gallegos
House District 53: Nate Cote
House District 58: Pablo Martinez
House District 68: Eloise Gift
*CVNM does not endorse in uncontested races. For more information on our endorsement process, please visit www.cvnm.org. Conservation Voters New Mexico, a nonpartisan, non-profit 501(c)(4) organization, works to protect New Mexico's natural environment and our cherished way of life. Our mission is to make sensible conservation policies a top priority for elected officials, political candidates, and voters across the state.
Friday, October 05, 2012
NM GOP Trains Poll Workers in Voter Suppression from ProgressNowNM
On October 4, 2012, ProgressNow New Mexico released an undercover video showing a Republican and Tea Party leader training “poll challengers” to illegally deny thousands of legal New Mexico voters a ballot on Election Day. To see the whole story click here.
Undercover video recorded by ProgressNow New Mexico shows the Republican Party training poll challengers in illegal tactics that could potentially restrict the voting rights of as many as 1-in8 New Mexicans in November.
A recording of the September 26th official "Poll Challenger Training" conducted by the Republican Party shows a GOP & Tea Party leader giving false and/or misleading information about voting rights and regulations to the training's attendees. The training was replete with misinformation about ID requirements, the use of provisional ballots, assistance for Spanish-speaking citizens, change of address requirements, and the rights of the disabled at the polls.
The group even created it's own poll challenger guide complete with instructions on how to demand ID and force legal voters to vote by provisional ballot in blatant contradiction with election law.
The tactics disseminated at the Republican "Poll Challenger Training" have the potential to restrict the voting rights of New Mexicans throughout the state by making it harder for eligible voters to exercise their civic duty and by compromising the integrity of the entire state electoral process.
But, The Nation caught up with Rep. Steve Pearce to ask his opinion about issue. He told them that these illegal tactics are the way the GOP will take back New Mexico. Really:
Pearce appeared to be aware of the NM GOP’s poll watching efforts, and supported them. “We’re simply saying that we’re going to start, we’re going to take it back it into our hands,” said Pearce. “We should check for ID since you have to show an ID to do anything in America.” He did, however, admit that doing so would be against the law. “Its against New Mexico law to check for ID,” the congressman conceded.
ProgressNow says "We aren't going to let them get away with this. State GOP leaders like Steve Pearce are encouraging their own party to break the law and we need your help to bring pressure to stop them."
Please help ProgressNow NM get this story out to the media in New Mexico and across the country. We can’t let Tea Party extremists break the law and bully voters into staying home on election day. Take a minute to give $5, $25 or $50 to help us keep up the pressure on Tea Party trainers to stop training challengers to bully our voters.
After you give, share it on Twitter and Facebook; email it to your friends; call your local news station. Whatever you can do to spread the word. New Mexicans need to know the tactics being used by those who want to limit voting rights and compromise the integrity of our election.